Friday, August 19, 2011

Dirt Road Lesson: Expectations

Funny how any well-organized plan can be changed...and fast!

CajunGuy and I had our guest list for the wedding all planned out. 
Invites were printed.
Addressing had begun.
Then it came to a quick end when I realized we were about 5 invites short.


Now it's not my policy to freak out (much...) when I am thrown a curve ball.
I was sure we needed 75 of the 100 invites that were printed.
I was sure I had not miscalculated the number of guests.
(Believe me when I tell you that. My perfectionist personality wouldn't let me miscount, haha).
I was also sure that the printer had sent us the correct amount in the first place.
In my world, 100-75=25.
In theory, we should have 25 extra invites.

So I counted the guest list (for the 63rd time).

Where in the heck did those extra 30 guests come from?

I'm sure I have no clue. 

Expectations come with a price if they're not grounded in reality, don't they? My expectations brought along its friends, Mr. Confusion and Mr. Frustration. I expected things to go right. I expected it all to happen the way I planned. And I expected that I had control of everything.

Guess I should have expected that I should expect none of those things.


My perfectionist heart wants things to be orderly and in my control. And each time I grasp for control, the rug of life is pulled out from under me by God Himself. He wants me to trust that He has everything taken care of and doesn't need help from a pushy broad like me. ;-)

I kid, but there is some truth in my statement.
It's exhausting trying to juggle everything in my life all at once.
It's better left to God. He never disappoints.

Which makes me wonder, if He is juggling everything not only in my life, but in the lives of the approximately 7 billion people on this Earth, how many hands does He have?

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Welcome to the world, Baby Girl!

Look at that head of hair! Isn't it adorable?

My sweet sister-in-law and her husband just had a baby girl today!
I'm sure she was passed around the family and loved on all. day. long.
Who could blame them?!?
I wish I could have been there!

I told CajunGuy I wanted to have about 10 babies right away.
He politely freaked out!

For your viewing pleasure, here are some pictures of Baby B and Uncle CajunGuy:

"Now listen here, little one. Don't go giving your Aunt Liz any ideas about babies!"
Hmm, maybe this baby thing isn't so bad after all.
Well...maybe a few kids wouldn't hurt...
But how could I not want a mess o' kids with pictures like these?

Happy Birth Day, Baby B!
Congratulations Mr. and Mrs. C!
She is beautiful!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Dirt Road Lesson: God keeps His Promises

Ok, so CajunGuy's surgery went well Tuesday. 

He has 5 weeks of recovery, one more surgery and a couple of months of physical therapy left before we can put this all behind us but these times of just making ends meet and leaning on God's promise to take care of us has been paying off.

Even through this season of lost work time, God stuck to His word and never left us.
Through each of our families, He has blessed us beyond measure:
  • My Mom gave us our wedding present early, which helped big time towards making ends meet. And she is throwing me a bridal shower next month! (She also has the kindest shoulder to cry on when everything seems upside-down.)
  • My Dad has graciously offered to pay for the rest of our wedding since all of our budget has been re-allocated to pay bills each month since CajunGuy's injury.
  • CajunGuy's Mom and sister have each bought us groceries. Our pantry was getting low but they were kind enough to see our need and just help us, no asking required.
  • CajunGuy's Dad has offered to pay for the DJ for the wedding and has invited us to dinner at his house numerous times, which allows us to make our groceries stretch even more.
  • CajunGuy's Parran (see Cajun Dictionary) has brought us leftovers from cookouts he has done. (Yummmmmm!)
  • A few of CajunGuy's aunts got together and are throwing us a wedding shower for the both of us in the next few weeks.                                                                                                       We have had numerous offers of help and support through all of this and are in awe at just how much we are loved!
We have been humbled by the thought of receiving all of the help that we have gotten.

God promises to provide for our every need (Matthew 6:26-33) and He also promises to never leave us (Hebrews 13:5).
And I am here as a witness to tell you that He has kept His promise.

To God be the glory!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Dirt Road Lesson: Learning To "Let Go And Let God"

Most days happen just like I plan them. I wake up, watch my favorite TV show (Golden Girls, anyone?) and go about my planned activities for the day. If that same routine happens enough days in a row it can start to feel as though I control my destiny and I plan how my days go.

And then days like Monday and Tuesday happen to show me that I am far from the title of Master of Destiny.

Monday started out just like I planned, with no surprises to speak of. I had a doctor’s appointment and things were on time and going as scheduled. I left the doctor’s office and headed to school to sign some paperwork in the Financial Aid office to make sure I could get aid for this semester. There’s no way I could afford tuition on my own, right?


Turns out, my financial aid would not be processed in time and I had to make financial agreements with the Bursar to ensure my schedule wouldn’t be dropped. Ok, no big deal. I head over to the Bursar’s office only to be told that the only way to ensure I could stay in school this semester was to make a payment plan and write a check for 1/3 of the amount of my tuition that day.

For those of you who don’t know, CajunGuy and I are trying to pay for a wedding that is set to happen October 1 – of this year! He was at work and couldn’t answer his phone when I called to discuss what was going on (aka The Wedding vs. School Debate that raged in my head). I had a decision to make: turn my back on school this semester and add at least a year to my projected Graduation date or write the check in faith and stand on God’s promise that He takes care of His children.

One expensive check later and I realized just how little control I have over anything. I went home feeling defeated and thanked God that the day was going to end in just a few hours.

And then Tuesday happened.

CajunGuy was working in Texas on an oil rig just outside of Houston when the thing I dread most happened: he got hurt on the job. I was more than 500 miles away and could do nothing to help him. All I could do was listen to him tell me that his hand had been crushed and he was on the way to the hospital.


When CajunGuy finally got X-rays done he was left with an appointment for surgery on this coming Tuesday morning and the possibility of a limited work schedule during the time he recovers from everything.

His regular income would be really reduced and my mind started wondering how all the bills would get paid.
I was at the end of my rope…but I was strangely calm about it.
God was in control and I knew it.

I don’t (and I may never) know His reasons for any of this, but CajunGuy and I stand on the assurance of God's promise in Romans 8:28: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.”


Thursday, August 4, 2011

My Journey Starts Here

Hi there! I'm CajunGal (but my friends know me as Liz).

Fancy meetin' you here! How's ya mom an 'em?

What's that you say? You didn't understand what I said? Sorry, that's just our Louisiana way of saying "Hey! Nice to see you! How are you and your family doing?"

Glad to see you're joining me as I transition from the life of a city gal to the life of a country gal. (Wait, when did I sign up for that?!?!?)

See, I was raised in the city. Never more than 5 minutes from a Walgreens or a WalMart, within walking distance of....everything, really. 

Then, in 2009 my whole world changed. I met a guy from the country (you'll see him mentioned here as CajunGuy) and fell in love with the country lifestyle -- and him, too! :-) He asked me to marry him last year and my life has been slowly turning, dare I say.....upside down? His world is filled with dirt roads, farms and drives "into town" for just about everything.

My days are filled with finishing my degree, wedding planning (and alternating between two cities more than 100 miles apart to accomplish it!) and learning just what the country life is all about.

In the short 2 years I've known CajunGuy, much of what I thought I knew has changed, and so have I. It's my hope that I can use this blog to capture all of the memories that I know I will cherish in the years to come. 

And it's on the little dirt road that runs next to CajunGuy's house on my many drives "into town" that I have done most of my thinking, wondering and problem-solving. 
The name Dirt Road Lessons popped into my head and it stuck. And here I am.

I'm headed down the Dirt Road, destination unknown, just enjoying the ride. 
Hop in and join me!